Paul Krugman Steps on Marco Rubio’s Parade. And Kills My Entertainment.

Just a quick observation: for the past couple of days I’ve been seeing in a lot of places, including comments on this blog, the assertion that federal spending has risen 37 percent under Obama — that specific number. Does anyone know where it’s coming from?

Because if I look at the actual data, I see federal spending rising from $3.475 trillion in fourth-quarter 2008 to $3.917 trillion in fourth-quarter 2012 — a rise of 12.7 percent.

Obviously this is coming from somewhere, and being broadcast by Rush or somebody. But it’s still kind of amazing how a totally wrong number can become part of what everyone on the right just knows to be true.

Where Do “Facts” Come From?, Paul Krugman, New York Times, today

Damn.  Now Marco Rubio will have to scratch that line from his response to the State of the Union address tonight.  Depriving those of us who enjoy political comedy of the fun of watching Rubio explain this fact during the next couple of days, after the CEO of Chrysler Corp. makes a public statement that federal spending has risen 12.7 percent, not 37 percent, since the fourth quarter of 2008.  And that Chrysler has absolutely no plans whatsoever to close the Ohio Jeep plant that it just spent more than $1 million expanding in order to hire 1,200 new workers, and ship those jobs to China.

You shouldn’t have let that cat out of the bag today, Prof. Krugman!

Sheeesh.  You’d almost think the Republicans hired me as their statistician/mathematician. Hmm.  Maybe I’ll apply to Fox News for consulting work.  My math abilities are every bit as good as those of the person who did the math on that statistic.  Trust me.

Okay, okay. I don’t actually know that Rubio planned to include this hot statistic in his response tonight.  It’s just my speculation.